Breathing Grammar

I am on a mission to learn English grammar and it is possibly the hardest thing I have tried to learn in a long time. Here I was thinking “Oh, I already know grammar, I write ALL day long”. It isn’t that simple though – sure, I’ve learned to mimic good grammar. I know what sounds best when I am typing a sentence. It is almost unholy how wrong I was about English grammar being something that would be easy.
I recently began taking the Grammar Lab through the online certificate for copyediting offered by the University of California San Diego. I graduated with my MBA through Southern New Hampshire University in September 2014 and I have been itching to go back to school. Going back to school these days means following my passions instead of the necessity of trying to land a job to make my bank account not roll over on its back and die.
Creative writing has always been my passion. It has been that way since my childhood when all I wanted to do was write stories, read Stephen King and listen to Green Day. For a long time, I wanted to have a career in creative writing. Then, I kept being informed over and over that writing wasn’t something I should do if I actually wanted to survive on my own. Now, I am surviving on my own and I am still bitten by the need to write creatively and professionally.
Gaining the copyediting certificate is probably half my need to be a perfectionist at writing and half my need to just keep learning. I have written my first fiction novel, and although I have a lot of self-doubt about the novel itself, I still want to do it justice by editing it to the best of my abilities. I may also be procrastinating in editing it because I want to forget all about it so I can realize any dreaded plot holes. Either way, while I am waiting for my nerves to stop being jittery about my 80k word salad, learning how to edit will help me with my future writing.
Also, no one ever said I could not one day be a freelance copyeditor. People like to read and write but editing a book is difficult as hell. It is nice knowing that I can develop this skill so that it may become something more prominent in my life in the future. Sure, I put writing on my back-burner due to fear. However, this isn’t some long lost pipe-dream. I mean, I am only 28. You’d think I’d given up for 30 years by the way I am talking.
I wonder, if by the end of this class, I will be able to breathe English grammar. Maybe not – but I still own The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, which gets into the nitty gritty of grammar like no other book I have ever read. I am sure I will learn more grammar as I get into the meat of the copyediting certificate. It is guaranteed since I am determined.

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